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Participation in USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program shifts to child care centers

In fiscal 2012, on a typical day, USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provided meals and snacks to more than 3.4 million children at family day care homes and nonprofit child care centers, homeless shelters, and after-school programs. The program also provided subsidized meals for 118,530 older or functionally impaired adults at adult day care centers. The total cost to USDA for CACFP in fiscal 2012 was $2.8 billion—96 percent of which covered children’s meals and snacks. Since 1992, the average number of meals served annually to children in family day care homes and child care centers has risen from 1.2 to 1.9 billion. In 2012, 70 percent of meals were served in centers, reflecting growing numbers of children attending child care centers and fewer family day care homes participating in CACFP. In 1996, reimbursements from USDA to family day care homes shifted from a single rate to a two-tiered system with higher reimbursements for homes serving primarily low-income children. Eligible centers continued to be reimbursed by USDA on a sliding scale based on the child’s family’s income. This chart is from the Child Nutrition Programs: Child and Adult Care Food Program topic page on the ERS website.

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Last updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013

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